When You Rise Up by R C Sproul (book review)

You can not determine what to teach your children by taking away what should not be taught to your children

When you rise up by R C Sproul  is a good read, a worthwhile read.  A fast read too, I could have one it in one day; the text is not deep and the references plain.  No, there is not a lot of ‘new’ material in it; but the topics covered as looked at in detail. 

It focuses Biblically mainly on Psalm 78:1 – 8 and on Deu 6: 1 – 9.  the emphasis of the book is that God has given parent the responsibility to educate the children He gifts them with and that parents can not continue handing children over the state for education then trying to claim innocents when the children are not educated; or worse when the children are educated but not morally.  Not a new idea, but one that people still need to hear:  you can not send your children to a worldly indoctrination camp and then be surprised by what comes home.  Secondly you can not “undue” 8 + hours a day, 5 day a week in a hour or some over dinner and a couple of hours on Sunday. 

“If we continue to send our children to Caesar for their education, we need to stop being surprised when they come home as Romans.” Voddie Baucham

Secondly the book repeatedly debunks the “I am not smart enough to teach physics” as a ‘reason’ parents cite for not home educating.  The fallacy of the idea you have to meet worldly standards to educate you child in God is a repeated theme; and the question is repeated ‘what are you trying to teach’ advanced calculus or Godliness.  There are tons of ways to find help teaching your children advanced subjects you do not feel comfortable covering, but there are limited ways to raise a moral and Godly child / young adult. 

The best thesis of the book, the meatiest food for thought, finally comes on page 79-80. 

“The Trouble is, even when we succeed in getting rid of all the worldly stuff that offends our sensibilities, even when we get rid of the worldly worldview, we still have not answered the questions “what should teach”.  You can not determine what to teach your children by taking away what should not be taught to your children”…Certainly what is left is not morally repugnant.  But our goal isn’t simply to have a curriculum that isn’t morally repugnant”.

He advocate not home education in reaction to the schools, thus the schools are still in control, but home educating with our responsibility to God for our children as our guiding light.

A few quotes that struck home with me:

If we can not see God’s Glory in the study of astrophysics then we have no business studying it, or teaching it to our children. (33)

Because all education is inherently ‘moral’ every school will always pass able the moral convictions of the sponsors (37)

…teaching our children is our delight, our joy, our opportunity.  When we see spending time with them as a burden; rather than a joy, we further see how encultured we have become [in the world]. (50)

…if it is not enough if our children are merely clean-cut…we want from these children, male and female, is a commitment to be Christian soldiers…we want warriors that understand Satan wants them to think as he does.  (100)

Whenever parents teach history they are giving sermons (106)

I think the book is really worth reading for every Christian parent to really challenge their educational choices and really offer some meat for consideration. 

Deuteronomy 6

6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Psalm 78

1 My people, hear my teaching;
   listen to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth with a parable;
   I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
3 things we have heard and known,
   things our ancestors have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their descendants;
   we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
   his power, and the wonders he has done.
5 He decreed statutes for Jacob
   and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
   to teach their children,
6 so the next generation would know them,
   even the children yet to be born,
   and they in turn would tell their children.
7 Then they would put their trust in God
   and would not forget his deeds
   but would keep his commands.
8 They would not be like their ancestors—
   a stubborn and rebellious generation,
whose hearts were not loyal to God,
   whose spirits were not faithful to him.

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